We all need to take time to enjoy the great outdoors and especially in the winter. Winter, however, brings with it additional risks that we need to be aware of and prepare for.
We, not only, need to prepare for such risks, but also, we need to be able to recognize when somebody is suffering from the cold. Can you recognize a cold related emergency when you see one?
Hypothermia is a cold related emergency in which the person's core body temperature begins to drop below normal (37 degrees celsius). When this happens, the person's health is at risk and their life can possibly be threatened.
Mild Hypothermia - The person is in no grave danger. They will be cold and shivering at this point, although their core temperature stays relatively normal (it can possibly slightly below normal). The person may have some numbness or lack of sensation in their extremities, especially their fingers and toes.
Moderate Hypothermia - The person is becoming increasingly at risk for developing sever hypothermia. At this point their core temperature begins to fall. The numbness they are experiencing in their extremities may begin to make its way in to larger body parts. The person will be shivering quite rapidly. This can affect their behaviour, judgment and coordination.
Severe Hypothermia - The person is in grave danger. They need to receive advanced medical care. Their core body temperature will drop below 30 degrees celsius and they stop shivering and complaining of the cold. Their behaviour and judgement will still be impaired and may actually cause unconsciousness.
Caring for Hypothermia - Warm the person up gradually. Warming a person too rapidly can cause dangerous heart arrhythmias. If it is severe hypothermia call 911 immediately.
Learn how to tend to hypothermia and other conditions by taking a first aid and CPR course. For a list of all available courses and dates click here.
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